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Tips on helping an Aspergers child to sleep.

Children with ASD spend a lot more time and energy processing and interpreting communication in a neurotypical world.


This extra processing requires energy and it is necessary that your child has this energy. If your child has trouble sleeping an avalanche can occur whereby less sleep means less energy which means lessened capacity to interpret communications during the day leading to anxiety, meltdowns and even less sleep. I may have been a bit dramatic there but the point is made. At the end of the day, after dinner it may be a good idea to see if you can help them process some communicative issues they had during the day.


Here's some keys: do not go direct with a question and avoid questions answered with a yes or no. If they are a little run down or anxious they may not wish to talk, especially if they are a teenager a grunt or a "Good", "Yes" or "No" is most likely. Try questions like "How easy/difficult was it when you presented your talk today?" This may be followed by a "Not difficult" so follow up with "What was your favourite question you were asked?" from here a conversation should continue and as the conversation avalanche grows the ability to ask more direct questions re what's on their mind increases. Try to avoid performance questions, e.g. "How did you go at ?" If the answer is "Poor" this will not work well, and likely backfire. A circling question may be "Who did well at ?" when they answer and you run that answer through follow up with "How did their best friend/anybody you know go?".


Hopefully these questions will start a conversation and from here their real questions about the day will evolve. If you do this about 30 minutes before they go to bed it enables them to think your conversation through, and they will. So when saying goodnight be prepared for some final follow-up questions to assist them turn the light out in a much more relaxed state able to attack the next day with full vigour.

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